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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween










Happy Halloween everyone! We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. We will be here at home playing. Don't eat to much candy. :)
(if you look hard enough you will see Wally (our dog) in the background of one of these pictures)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fun Bath Time




Molly and Luke love bath time. All we have to do is ask them "Do you want to take a bath?" and they take off running to the bathroom saying bath over and over again.


My Infertility Journey

As promised in my first post I said I would share my infertility story. (Warning long post)

When Todd and I got married in March of 1997 at 20 (me) & 21 having a child was the furthest thing from our minds. We wanted to enjoy each other before we had any children of our own. Don't get me wrong we loved children, but just other people's. I guess maybe you can say we were a little too immature to have kids. We still wanted to go as we please. A child would have slowed us down.

Shortly after I got married my menstrual cramps got unbearable. I went to a new OBGYN for answers. He told me that I could start taking birth control pills continously without having a period. OMG! Really? I can go without having a period. That was the best news ever for me and it actually helped. I didn't have the pain any longer. When I went back to him the second time he asked how I been doing. I said great! He then made a statement that if I wanted to have a laparoscopic surgery to find out what exactly is going on I could. He did not say I should. So I thought to myself why would I if I am feeling good. If only he would have mention if you have what I think you have you might have trouble getting pregnant the older you get. Never once did this doctor say Endometriosis (Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrial stroma and glands, which should only be located inside the uterus) is found elsewhere in the body.) to me, so my life went on. Todd and I did as much as we could together.

Then I turned 27 and the baby bug hit me. All of the sudden I wanted one bad. We tried for a year on our own before I found a different OBGYN to go to. She was not too concerned to begin with, but since we had been trying for a year she put me on Clomid for 3 cycles. Nothing happened. She then mentioned Endometriosis, but could only be certain after laparoscopic surgery. We scheduled the surgery. After the surgery Todd and I got the worst news we have ever received as a married couple. Her exact words were " It would be a miracle for you to conceive on your own." She explained I was the second worst case of endometriosis she has ever seen. One of my fallopian tubes was completed blocked with endometrial lining and the other
was partially blocked. I had a endometrioma on my left ovary. She said our best option is in vitro fertilization. This is when she recommended me to who I think is the best RE (reproductive endocrinologist) Dr. Eli Reshef.

Once Todd and I got home we realized this wasn't going to be a easy journey, but we were determined to have children. We made the appointment for the consultation with Dr. Reshef. Let me just say this first. We absolutely loved him. He made us feel like we were his only patients. He took his time with us. I truly feel like he cares for each and every patient he sees. He did some tests on me and some on Todd. We found out the best option for us would be IVF with ICSI. ICSI is when the embryologist inject the egg with the sperm. Todd's count was
good, but they were slow swimmers.

In March of 2007 we went throught our first IVF cycle. This consisted of alot of trips to Dr. Reshef's office, alot of shots and blood taken numerous time. I just kept thinking of the end result. It helped get me through the process. Todd and I knew our chances at the beginning. Dr. Reshef was straight up with us. He gave us a 50/50 chance of getting pregnant, but that was a 50/50 shot of hope for us. At the time of my egg retrieval only 5 eggs were retrieved.
We knew it was going to be low, but we were hoping for 8. My ovaries don't produce as many as most IVF patients do, because of all the scarring and the cyst from the endometriosis. Out of those 5 only 3 fertilized. With such a small amount we went for a day 3 transfer. That day was bitter sweet. We were so excited, but it could also be the end of this journey. It was a Sunday. The embryologist gave us the update on our embryos when we arrived. They had divided into 6,8 and 9 cell embryos. Dr. Reshef would be transferring the 8 and 9 cell that morning. If the other embryo made it to a certain day it would be frozen for future use. The transfer went good. I was told to go home start my progesterone shots and come back in 2 weeks for a
pregnancy test. They recommend you stay in bed for 3 days. It was the longest 2 weeks of our lifes, but I had a feeling it didn't work. My feeling turned out right. We did not conceive with our first IVF attempt. Our other embyro did not make it either, so this first attempt was a total loss.

It took a couple of months for Todd and I to decide what to do next. We were torn between adoption and IVF. IVF cost us alot of money with no results. We could put our money towards hope of conceiving with a second IVF cycle or towards adoption that would get us a baby. We
researched adoption and discovered it was a long hard process. We talked it over with our family and decided to go with IVF again. But Todd and I said this was it. If I didn't get pregnant this time. We were done. Adoption would be our next route.

August 07 we begun our second cycle of IVF. Dr. Reshef was a little more agressive this time around. He wanted me to produce more eggs. He wanted me to be able to have a day 5 transfer this time, but I am just not a egg producer. On the day of retrieval he got 8 eggs. Only 5 were mature and only 4 fertilized, so it was going to be another day 3 transfer. On the day of transfer (Sunday, August 19th) the embryologist once again gave us an update on our little embryo's. We had a 8,9,13 & 14 cell embryo's. She seemed very pleased to tell us Dr. Reshef would be transferring the 9,13 & 14 cell embryo's that morning. Again I was sent home to start the progesterone shots and the long 2 week wait before I came back for the pregnancy test. I took the whole week off of work and spent it in bed the entire time. I was determined to do whatever I could to make it work this time. The beginning of week 2 I started feeling queasy. I was so afraid to even get my hope up, but I told Todd. Then 2 days before I was to go in for my blood pregnancy test I bought a home pregnancy test in morning on the way to work. I talked myself out of taking it by the time I got home, but Todd insisted. I read on the test that you were supposed to test in the morning, so I was scared it was going to be negative. Todd got in the shower and I went to take the test. OMG.... it was positive, but the doctors office tells you not to test at home due to all the medication you take for IVF could result in a false/positive. Talk about exciting, but we did not tell anyone. We waited until I went that Friday for the blood test. The nurse asked me what number she needed to call with the results and this time I gave her Todd's number. I didn't want to hear it was negative from anyone other then Todd. It was the longest 2 hour wait. Finally Todd called me and announced "Well you are knocked up". My husband always the romantic. He told me the doctors office needed me to call them so they could give me some instructions. I talked to BJ and she said your number is beta # is 345. She said anything over 75 is considered good, so don't be surprised it there is more then one. I was to continue the progesterone shots and come back for a second blood test in a couple of days. They make sure your beta number doubles every 24 hours. My next number was over 1200, so that was great! I was to come back in 2 weeks for the 1st ultrasound. After the 1st week I started spotting. I called the office and they said come in for some blood work, so we can check your beta. This number come back over 12000, so it was still good. The spotting never really stopped, so they told me it be vanishing twin syndrome. Not what I wanted to hear, but it was to soon to do a ultrasound. They did move the ultrasound up 3 days. We were warned it could to soon to detect the heartbeat. Todd and I were still hoping we were pregnant with at least twins. As soon as Dr. Reshef started the ultrasound we saw the 2 sacks. He measured the fetus's and they both measured 5 weeks and 4 days. Their heartbeats were 107 and 109 at this time. He said that is what they should be at this early. I was to come back in 2 weeks for my final appointment with Dr. Reshef for the 8 week ultrasound. Between the 7 & 8 week I started bleeding heavily. I called the office and they said come right in. I knew I was losing 1 or both of my babies, but when he did the ultrasound they both looked great. I took a few days off of work and finally the bleeding stopped completely by 12 weeks. I will post my pregnancy story 0n another day. I think this is enough for now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Messy Marvins





Daddy left the room for 5 minutes and this is what he came back to. They got into the pantry and spilled a whole box of cereal. This is something we deal with daily. You would be surprised how fast these two can tear up stuff. It is CRAZY. We have learned to hide anything we want to keep. They are like little tornadoes.

First Halloween Treats












Molly and Luke got a big surprise this morning when Nannie came. She brought their Halloween treats from her and Grandad. They got all kinds of goodies and treats. Thank you Grandad and Nannie! We love you!
Note - Molly still has to wear her house shoes all day long. LOL

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Surprise





Molly and Luke just recently started paying attention to the T.V.. They love any commercial that play songs. They will stop whatever they are doing to watch these. The other day the preview for the new Ice Age movie came on. They thought it was the funniest thing, so when I saw it came out today I had to go buy it for them. We will see if they have the patience to actually watch any of it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tinkerbell and Peter Pan









What better way to start the week off before Halloween then sharing pictures of Molly and Luke in their Halloween costumes? Todd and I decided not to get them around other kids this Halloween due to the H1N1 flu going around so bad. It was a hard decision to make, but we think it is the smart one. They will have many more Halloweens to Trick or Treat.
Thank you Bryan for taking these awesome pictures. www.bryankannowski.com

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What Now?

I put Molly and Luke down for their nap this morning. I went in to check on them 30 minutes later only to discover my son had escaped his bed. Molly was peacefully sleeping while her brother had gotten into the wipes and strung them all over their room. I am hoping this is a fluke. I guess I will see when I put them down for their afternoon nap. Wish me luck. I hope it is not going to be a trend. If Molly sees him do it. I will have 2 escapees.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

House shoes








Molly LOVES shoes. She wants to wear them all day long, so Mom finally took the hint and bought the poor girl some house shoes. I brought them home from work today and they have been wearing ever since. Luke is even leaving them on and he takes off everything.

Best Friends




I am a sucker at feeding stray animals, so awhile back we adopted this cat. He stays outside, but when it starts getting cold outside we let him stay in the garage. He travels through the house to get to the garage, so Molly and Luke go crazy when this is happening. They start screaming HI KITTY KITTY HI KITTY KITTY(over and over again). Molly is absolutely in love with this cat.
He goes by many nick names, but currently I am calling him Killer. I woke up to a dead squirrel on my back porch yesterday. I quess he was trying to repay us?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Molly's Revenge


When Luke started getting teeth Molly knew it. He used her for a chewing toy. Bless her heart! Luke has left marks and bruises on her numberous times. Today she got her revenge. I was on the phone with my Mom at lunch checking on them and all of the sudden I hear Luke start to cry. This wasn't the usual cry either. This was you took my best friend cry. His feelings were hurt. Plus by the looks of it. It hurt. Pay back isn't always good. Right?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Molly and Luke's 18 month Photo Shoot

Please stop by Bryan Kannowski's website to view the twins 18 month pictures. Go to main/clients/password-mays.

Bryan and Amanda are wonderful people. For those who don't know. Amanda was the twins only primary nurse at the hospital. She was mine and Todd's saving grace. We love her and Bryan like family. If you ever need a fantastic photographer please give Bryan a call. Below is the link to his website.

www.bryankannowski.com

Molly Faith Mays



I saved sister's story for last, since she gave me the most scares in the NICU. I didn't mention this before in Luke's post, but the first week I wasn't sure if I would bring 2 babies home from the hospital. Molly gave me so many grey hairs and wrinkles that first week. Her lungs were so much more weaker than Luke's.

In the delivery room she did not make a sound. It took the Neonatologist, Respiratory Therapist and Nurse Practitioner awhile to stabilize her. Luke was born second, but taken to the Nicu 5 to 10 minutes before Molly. There was the Neonatologist, RT and 2 NP's in the D/R, but only 1 Nurse Practitioner had to be with Luke (the doctor that did my spinal block helped the NP get him intubated). All the others worked to get Molly stabilized. I have to admit I was scared my baby girl wasn't going to make it.

Her weight was 994 grams (2 pounds 4 ounces) and 34.5 cm (13.5 inches) long. She lost down to 880 grams (1 pound 15 ounces) by day 5. The evening of day 3 she was extubated and placed on C-Pap, but only lasted a day before she had to be intubated and placed back on the Ventilator. Then that evening she had to be placed on the Oscillator. This is a step back from the Ventilator. She needed to rest. The evening of day 7 she went back to the ventilator. Day 10 she was extubated again and was placed on the high flow nasal cannula. I was so worried she wouldn't last, but she did. Praise God! She was amazing. My little miracle.

Molly had the same typical preemie issues like her brother, but hers was always worse. She had a large PDA (opening in the heart) that she took medicine to close. She also took caffeine to control the her destats and bradys. Bless her heart I am pretty sure she was poked numberous more times than her brother with scars to prove it. She also had reflux pretty bad. She was given Reglan to help. She had to have 5 blood tranfusions. Like her brother she had no brain bleeds. God is Good! She also passed her hearing and eye tests with flying colors.

Molly Faith came home on 04/22/08 after 68 days in the Nicu. She came home on oxygen and a pulse-ox monitor. Her weight was 2073 (4 pounds 9.14 ounces) and was 45.7 cm (17.9 inches) long. Talk about a happy day. I had my whole family under 1 roof. Molly come off of oxygen for good on Mothers day. She still had destats, so we still had to have the monitor. Molly was diagonsed with BPD Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (Chonic Long Disease). We have been told by her pediatrician that she will have more good lung issue than scared lung tissue by age 2. This is what we are hoping and praying for.

Molly is a strong little girl. I am so honored to be her Mother.

As I mentioned in Luke's story this is why Todd and I have choosen to be careful for 1 more Flu and RSV season. It is better to be safe than sorry.

I love my baby girl very much! She is the light of my life and I do not know what I would do with out her.

BTW - I have added a slideshow at the bottom of this page of some of their 1st pictures.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Luke Paul Mays






As a noted in my first post I am sharing Luke's Nicu story. I am doing him first even though he was baby B because he was the easiest of the two. Those first 4 to 6 weeks in the Nicu were very hard on me. Todd was always very strong and positive. When I saw my babies for the first time I couldn't even touch them. Don't get me wrong I wanted to, but was very scared I would hurt them. I had never seen a baby so small. Todd finally coaxed me into handling them. By this I mean changing their diaper & taking their temperature.
In the delivery room Luke was the only one to make a sound. It sounded like a kitten, but he at least he made a sound. He was intubated and taken to the NICU. His weight was 900 grams (2 pounds) and he was 31 cm (12 inches) long. He lost down to 810 grams (1 pound 12.5 ounces) by day 9. The evening of day 2 he was extubated and placed on C-Pap. This was the night I first got to hold my baby boy. The love I felt at that moment was like no other. I am still amazed at how that love continues to grow today. The evening of day 8 he was placed on high flow nasel cannula. This was the first time Todd and I really got to see his face. He was so beautiful.

Luke had the typical preemie issue with being born at 28 weeks gestation. He had a medium to large PDA (opening in the heart) that he took medication to close. He was placed on caffeine to help with destats (stop breathing) and bradys (heart rate decelerations). He was poked numerous times. He still has the scars on his feet and hands to prove it. He had 3 blood transfusions. He had no brains bleeds (Thank God). He also passed his hearing and eye tests with flying colors.

Luke Paul came home on 04/13/08 after 59 days in the NICU. He was oxygen and monitor free. It was so weird to be able to walk around with a baby with no cords. His weight was 2149 grams (4 pounds 7 ounces) and was 46.5 cm (18.3 inches) long. This day was very bitter sweet for me. I was so happy to bring him home, but he was leaving his twin sister behind. I just felt like when they were there together they had someone at all times of the day, so when Luke left her she was alone. They shared a bed and now she had to be moved to the singleton bed. Anyways, back to Luke Paul.

He was the best singleton baby at home. All he did was sleep and eat. Having a preemie at home was difficult due to germs. We were told the day we left the hospital that all it took was for him to get sick to put him right back where we fought for 59 days to leave. We spent the first year of his life at home. He only got out to go to the doctor. A nurse came every month starting in October-08 through March-09to give him RSV shots. The county has a program called Sooner Start that came twice a month to monitor his development. They no longer require this service, due to them catching up to their birth age.

In June of 2009 we had a party at Oklahoma City Zoo for Molly and Luke to celebrate them. Luke had a ball. He was the ham of the party. We continued to get them out all summer long. He loves to play outside and people watch.

Now that fall is here. We have to be careful of the flu (H1N1 and seasonal) and RSV. Not so much for Luke, but for Molly. Molly scared longs should have enough good lung tissue by the time she is 2, but I will get to her story later. It is hard not to be a normal family that can go as they wish and do stuff other familys do, but I feel our time being sheltered is limited. They will be 2 in February, so what is another 4 months? Maybe some people think I am over protective, but if they went through the NICU experience they would understand. I feel like my babies have spent enough of their life in the hospital, so I will do whatever possible to keep them from spending another night there. Sorry to vent, but I get frustrated when people can't understand why I protect them the way I do.

Luke is a very strong minded child. He accomplished all the developmental steps first. My baby boy is amazing in every way. I love him with my whole heart.

Molly's story is next.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Roof Roof


I picked up these cute noses at lunch today. I got Luke a dog's nose and Molly a duck's bill. Luke actually wears his. He looks pretty cute.

Molly's Bedtime Milk


Look at my big girl!

Fun Friday Pictures




This is what Daddy walked in on this afternoon when Molly and Luke were playing in their room.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

20 Months Old





It's hard to believe my babies are 20 months old today. Where has the time gone?


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long Johns




Molly and Luke's firt pair of long johns. They are too cute!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SHHHHH




The twins have started shushing their parents. We knew this day would come.

Tooth Extraction and 20 month old twins

On Friday I had to have a tooth extracted in perparation of an tooth implant. I know! Sounds like fun. Huh? It was worst than I thought, but maybe that was because I had 2 toddlers that demanded my attention. They didn't seem to understand Mom needed sleep. Not that I blame them. They are so darn cute it was hard to go to my bedroom and shut the door. I wanted to stay on the sofa and watch them play even if this meant a toy in the head every so often.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Fun






We had a blast Saturday visiting a pumkin patch close to home. Molly and Luke got to pick out pumkins to bring home and pet some animals they have only seen in books. Thank you Nannie for coming along for the fun.




First Post

I realized my babies are growing up way too fast, so I decided to start a blog to try and keep up with them.

They were born Feb. 15th 2008 at just 28 weeks gestation. I developed preeclampsia in my 26th week of pregnancy and was put on bed rest. I spent one week at home and one week in the hospital. My daughter was born born first at 2 pounds 4ounces and my son was born second at 2 pounds. They were both intubated in the delivery room. I plan on sharing my infertility journey, pregnancy and Nicu stories.